KANSAS STATE (7-1) vs. CREIGHTON (2-4)
December 19, 2005 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Omaha Civic Auditorium (9,377)
at Omaha, Neb.
Radio: K-State Sports Network
Series History: K-State leads 12-3
Internet: Live statistics on www.k-statesports.com
The Kansas State women’s basketball team (7-1) used the week to focus on final exams, before traveling to Creighton (2-6) for a Monday, Dec. 19 matchup, prior to the Christmas holiday break. The Wildcats are making their first road trip to Omaha since 1990. The game between the Wildcats and Bluejays will tip at 7 p.m. and can be heard on the K-State Sports Network with Brian Smoller and Kristin Waller calling the action live from the Omaha Civic Auditorium.
CREIGHTON AT A GLANCE
Creighton looks to snap a two-game losing skid with its last three-straight contests having been decided by five points or less. The Bluejays are currently 1-1 against Big 12 Conference opponents this season with a win against Colorado (77-72) on Dec. 3 and a loss at in-state rival Nebraska (50-84) on Nov. 21. With a mostly veteran lineup, the Bluejays return all but four letterwinners and one starter that advanced to the school’s third-straight postseason WNIT appearance, losing to Iowa in the first round. In each of the last four seasons, Creighton has only lost less than 10 games per year finishing 24-7 in 2001-02, 24-9 in 2002-03, 24-9 in 2003-04 and 19-10 in 2004-05. The Bluejays captured their first postseason national championship in school history winning the 2004 WNIT championship title.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
No. Name 2005-06 Stats
12 Ally Thrall, G, 5-6, So. 7.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg
3 Kristi Woodard, G, 5-9, Sr. 16.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg
4 Christy Erickson, F, 6-1, Sr. 4.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg
33 Angie Janis, F, 6-1, Sr. 20.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg
40 Amy Hoffman, C, 6-2, Sr. 3.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg
K-State leads 12-3 in the all-time series with Creighton and has won the last two-straight meetings between both schools. Two years ago, the Wildcats won 94-60 in Manhattan. CU has not beaten K-State since 1991. Only two Wildcats have played against the Bluejays in their careers (Claire Coggins and Twiggy McIntyre) at K-State. The Wildcats are 4-2 when playing on the road in Omaha.
Tickets for the Kansas State at Creighton game are available for $5-$8 and are all reserved seating. Fans who wish to sit behind the K-State bench should purchase tickets in sections 119 and 120. Tickets can be purchased the day of the game approximately 90 minutes before tipoff at the box office located on the south main entrance of the Omaha Civic Auditorium at 1804 Capitol Ave. For more information, please contact the Creighton Ticket Office at: 402-280-JAYS. Tickets can also be purchased and charged online (which includes a surcharge) through www.ticketmaster.com.
AGAINST PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS
Creighton will be the fourth Catholic institution of higher learning the Wildcats will face this year. There are 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S., but only 19 with NCAA Division I athletic programs including 2005-06 opponents Detroit, Santa Clara, Saint Joseph’s (Pa.), Creighton and possible opponent Saint Peter’s (N.J.) at the SPC Holiday Classic on Dec. 29-30. K-State has gone 2-1 against parochial schools thus far.
2005-06 Category KSU Creighton
Overall Record 7-1 2-4
Points Per Game 79.5 67.2
Scoring Margin +22.9 -5.7
Rebounds Per Game 41.9 45.2
Rebounding Margin +9.9 +6.3
Field Goal Percentage .489 .376
Field Goal% Defense .353 .416
Three-Point FG% .341 .343
Free Throw Percentage .684 .726
Assists Per Game 19.6 13.7
Turnovers Per Game 17.0 19.3
Blocks Per Game 5.5 4.8
Steals Per Game 8.3 6.0
Junior Claire Coggins turned in a season-high 24 points in a 75-42 rout of UMKC on Dec. 11. The Wildcat defense held the Kangaroos to just under 14 percent shooting from the field (4-29) in the second half, as K-State went on a 45-14 run. Sophomore Kimberly Dietz (15 points) and freshman Marlies Gipson (11 points) were the other Wildcats to score in double figures. After shooting a meager 35.5 percent in the first half, the Wildcats came back after the break and shot 58.6 percent from the field (17-29). It was K-State’s third-straight win over UMKC and the largest margin of victory (33 points) in the all-time series.
HOLIDAYS IN THE BIG APPLE
The Wildcats will close out 2005 with a trip to the New York City metropolitan area over the New Year’s weekend. K-State will travel from the Little Apple to the Big Apple for the Saint Peter’s College Holiday Classic on Dec. 29-30 in Jersey City, N.J., located just across the Hudson River and the lower Manhattan skyline. The four-team tournament field includes UNC Wilmington, American University and host Saint Peter’s.
LEHNING EARNS ROOKIE HONORS
Freshman point guard Shalee Lehning was named Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week on Dec. 12. Lehning tied a school single-game record with a career-high 20 rebounds in a 77-66 win over perennial NCAA power Louisiana Tech on Dec. 6. It marked the Wildcats’ first-ever victory in the all-time series with the Lady Techsters. Lehning made her first career start against La. Tech and was one point (nine points) and two assists (eight assists) shy of recording a triple-double. In all, she led K-State to a 2-0 week averaging 9.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 2.0 steals. She shot 53.8 percent from the floor (7-13) and 80.0 percent from the charity stripe (4-5). Seven of her 26 rebounds were offensive boards. She became the first Wildcat to earn Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors since Wecker (twice) and Laurie Koehn (three times) were both recognized for their on-court achievements during their rookie campaigns in 2001-02.
NOTHING SHORT’ OF EXCELLENT
Shalee Lehning’s 20-rebound outing tied single-game records also held by former Wildcats Kendra Wecker (2002-05) and Carlisa Thomas (1984-87), all of whom are under 6-foot in height. Of the three, Lehning, 5-foot-9, is the only point guard of the group. Both the 5-foot-11 Wecker and 5-foot-10 Thomas were forwards. Lehning is one of two known current Division I point guards, including preseason Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year Tasha Williams (5-foot-7) of Louisiana Tech, who have brought down 15-or-more rebounds in a game. Lehning is currently the team’s leading rebounder averaging 6.6 rebounds per game. Her team-leading 45 assists ranks second-best among all Big 12 freshmen (5.63 avg.) this season. She is the only rookie point guard ranked in the top 6 in rebounding among all freshman leaders in the league, all of whom are taller than 6-foot in height.
IN YOUR FACE REJECTION
Freshman Marlies Gipson had a career-and season-high tying four blocked shots against UMKC to give her a team-leading 18 rejections this season. She is averaging 2.3 blocks per game and is 20 blocks away from breaking the K-State freshman record set by current teammate Shana Wheeler (37) a year ago. Gipson has blocked a shot in all but one game this season and has had four or more blocks on three occasions. During her prep career at McPherson High School, Gipson cashed in a school single-game record 17 rejections.
AMONG NCAA LEADERS
The Wildcats annually rank among the top 25 teams when it comes to leading the nation in several NCAA statistical categories. K-State currently ranks in the top 20 in eight stat categories including scoring offense (14th, 79.5), scoring margin (10th, 22.9), field goal percentage (9th, 48.9), rebound margin (19th, 9.9), three-point field goals per game (16th, 7.3), won-lost percentage (20th, 87.5) and assists per game (8th, 19.6). The Cats have shot over 45 percent or better from the field six times this year and no less than 43.5 percent through eight games played.
WILDCATS IN THE RPI
Each season, Kansas State holds a strong presence in the RPI ratings index. According to CollegeRPI.com, the Wildcats are currently 33rd and the third-highest rated Big 12 Conference team behind defending national champion Baylor (2) and Oklahoma (10). Upcoming opponents: Creighton (254), UNC Wilmington (97), American (276) and Saint Peter’s (265).